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It's not over

Stop Ashby High Rise group lays out plans to deter construction, tells developers: We've only begun to fight

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The angry tower has become the neighbor opposition logo Photo by Katie Oxford
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A 2011 rendering of the controversial high rise tower Rendering via Buckhead Investment Partners Inc.
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Ashby high rise, sign
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Those who thought the 4-1/2- year debate over construction of the Ashby High Rise ended last month when Mayor Annise Parker told neighborhood groups that the city had settled a lawsuit with developers, clearing the way for construction of a 21-story tower at the corner of Ashby and Bissonnet, might think again.

More than 300 people packed the Poe Elementary School auditorium Tuesday night to plan a strategy to stop the tower and make it clear they are not deterred by the city's stand on the issue. They approved a letter to Buckhead Investment Partners, the developers of the project, detailing their continued opposition and laid out the steps they plan to take to ensure that construction does not take place.

 "We are making it crystal clear to people investing or financing this project our opposition is not going to stop," Chris Amandes, co-chair of the Stop Ashby High Rise Task Force, told CultureMap. "We haven't lost the passion for the fight."  

"We are making it crystal clear to people investing or financing this project our opposition is not going to stop," Chris Amandes, co-chair of the Stop Ashby High Rise Task Force, told CultureMap. "We haven't lost the passion for the fight."

In the letter, addressed to Buckhead CEO Kevin Kirton and president Matthew Morgan, the group wrote:

  • We will oppose you at every step of the permitting process.
  • If you continue your efforts to build this project, we will sue you to protect our interests. You can look forward to litigating issues under Texas law that will likely have to be decided by the Texas Supreme Court.
  • As soon as we can identify your investors and lenders, we will appear at their places of business and their homes to demonstrate our opposition.
  • We will appear at the places of business and homes of the contractors and other service providers who agree to work on your project and demonstrate our opposition.
  • If anyone leases your space for a laydown yard or contractor parking, we will appear at their places of business and their homes and demonstrate our opposition.
  • We will scrupulously monitor the construction of the project and we will report and seek relief for every violation of every applicable requirement.
  • If you nevertheless succeed in constructing this project, we will not stop our opposition, and we will take every lawful action available to us. It is important that you, your investors, and your construction and permanent lenders understand this.
  • We will picket your leasing office. Not once or twice, but at all times it is open.
  • We will identify your tenants and send regular communications to them at their units and their places of business to let them know that they are not welcome in our neighborhood.
  • When your tenants walk in or through our neighborhood, we will let them know that they are not welcome.
  • We will challenge the permits for your restaurant tenant.
  • We will boycott your restaurant and encourage our friends and neighbors to do the same. We will appear at your tenant’s restaurant and demonstrate our opposition to their presence in our neighborhood.
  • If your restaurant tenant has other locations, we will boycott and appear at those locations as well.
  • We will appear at the homes of the owners, investors, and chef of your restaurant tenant and demonstrate our opposition to their presence in our neighborhood.
  • We will post unfavorable reviews of your restaurant tenant on dining websites.

At the meeting, those opposing the project divided into five groups focusing on litigation, permitting and regulations, direct action, publicity and media and fundraising.

"We ran out of sign-up sheets because everybody wanted to play a role," Amandes said. "We're going to work very hard to show that it's not just a few people, but there are thousands opposed to this project and it's not just the neighborhood."

Not everything will be so serious, Amandes said. "You'll see public displays of opposition that make it clear where we stand — and bring smiles," he promised.

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